BINGHAMTON, NY – The Girl Scouts are recognizing a former scout who now heads a local organization dedicated to ending racism and empowering women.

The Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways honored Carole Coppens, Executive Director of the YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County, at its annual Women of Distinction breakfast Tuesday morning at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Binghamton.

Coppens has lead the YWCA since June, 2000, shepherding the organization from the brink of bankruptcy to a thriving and expanding non-profit that addresses the needs of women and their children.

The YW offers temporary and permanent supportive housing to homeless women and their families, runs an early childhood education center and provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings through ENCOREplus.

The YW recently expanded its housing to serve domestic violence survivors.

Coppens says the organization has come a long way in her 22 years and she has no plans to retire.

“I have no interest in stopping. Why? It’s getting good. It’s fun, it’s great. At least the first 10 years of my work, always a big pit in my stomach because I didn’t know from one day to the next if we could meet payroll.”

The YWCA recently added a Mission Impact Director focused on racism to the staff.

The Women of Distinction event raises money for Gold Award Girl Scout scholarships.